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Writing success: where preparedness and opportunity meet

Seneca, a first-century Roman philosopher, allegedly said, “Luck is where the crossroads of opportunity and preparation meet.

As writers, the only thing we can really control is preparation. Actor Matt Damon, in his interview with Success magazine, said he took to heart advice form his high school drama teacher, “Just do your work.” He knew that doing his best—even if no one else seemed to notice—was the only way to succeed.

I had a little run-in with preparedness and opportunity myself last week. As I sat in rush hour traffic south of Seattle for a weekend getaway, I suddenly remembered a poetry contest I had wanted to enter. I whipped out my laptop and connected to my hotspot (fortunately, I wasn’t driving) to discover the contest deadline was in ten minutes.  Yikes!

For two seconds I thought, “Oh, well. There’s always next year.” But then I realized how much I’d wanted to enter this contest so I buckled down, read the directions again, opened my poetry file on my laptop and started looking for three poems that that would fit the theme and specifications of the contest.

Finding the three, I then set about to make a few last-minute revisions. With two minutes left, I e-mailed my submission and payment. Voila! Magically, I made the deadline.

Of course, it wasn’t magic that helped me but a bit of luck for remembering the contest (opportunity) and preparedness—for always traveling with my laptop and hotspot and for having my poems organized so I can quickly find what I need.

What are more ways writers can prepare for success? Read my next post to find out!

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